Module 3

Sketching through spatial sound

Wearing blindfolds as AEDs, the participants performed blind listening experiments of the binaural piece 'grrawe' in order to focus on its spatial qualities through hearing. Then, they were asked to put down the spaces they 'saw' through this experience, which was carried out in two ways: through notes and descriptors, marked on the waveform timeline, that concerned particular moments or time segments of the piece, as well as via sketches that visually articulated and elaborated their impressions. The experiences and 'hallucinations of space' were presented and discussed within the group in addition to the context of the previous readings and exercises.

The waveform in the slides (right) is loosely aligned to the timeline of the piece so that they can be paused and inspected against each other.



Module overview

First task: Listen to the composition using your AEDs and headphones, without interruption.

Second task: Listen again, take notes, and draw sketches of spatial impressions, experiences, ideas, and the spatial utopia experienced while listening.

Third task: Listen again, working out the sketches for a presentation within the group.

Fourth task: Present and discuss aural impressions (using the learned terminology) and sketches with the group.

grrawe – (Gerriet K. Sharma, 2009-2010)

Binaural rendering, for headphones, of the spatial sound composition, originally conceived for eight-channel loudspeaker ring. Duration: 10’37’’. 'grrawe' was chosen for this assignment because it offers a wide range of sound-sculptural qualities, conveyed by abstract synthetic sound objects, which do not readily lead to concrete associations. In addition, the overall form of the piece evolves through a series of distinct environments.

Additional notes by the composer

The composition tries to investigate the sculptural presence of 3D sound objects.

How can we compose and reproduce the 'spatio-musical counterpart'?
How can we help the plastic sound object emerge as a spatial signifier?

The composition raises the question of individuals' self-localisation in a digital (sonic) environment. It is a way of continuously playing with the perception of movement, distance, and perspective.

Where is the composer, where is the listener?
Who is the composer and when does 'world' come into being, respectively? When does it withdraw itself from the composer and or the listener?
Will we ever find an answer?

(grrawe, composer's website:

Slideshow: Participants' presentation slides. Picture: Blindfolded listening session. Beyond the Visual, OSSA 2018, Łódź.

grrawe (10'37" binaural rendering, Gerriet K. Sharma, 2010). Listening with headphones is advised.